Dose-dependent immunohistochemical changes in rat cornea and retina after oral methylphenidate administration

Tunc E., Erdogan D., Gozil R., BAHÇELİOĞLU M., Calguner E., TAKE KAPLANOĞLU G., ...More

Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series C: Anatomia Histologia Embryologia, vol.38, no.2, pp.128-132, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH), more commonly known as Ritalin, is a piperidine derivative and is the drug most often used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, one of the most common behavioural disorders of children and young adults. The aim of this study was to investigate dose-dependent immunohistochemical Dopamine 2 receptor (D2) expression and apoptosis in the rat cornea and cornea. In this study, 27 female pre-pubertal Wistar albino rats, divided into three different dose groups (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg) and their control groups, were used. They were treated orally with methylphenidate dissolved in saline solution for 5 days per week during 3 months. At the end of the third month, after perfusion fixation, eye tissue was removed. Paraffin sections were collected for immunohistochemical and terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labelling assay studies. In our study, we observed that the cornea D2 receptor reactivity showed a dose-related increase after MPH treatment, especially in basal cells of the epithelium and a dose-dependent decrease in the retinal ganglion cell which was statistically meaningful. Analysis of the cornea thickness results showed no meaningful difference between groups. Apoptotic cell number showed a meaningful increase in the high dose treated group compared to the other groups of the study. The data suggest that Ritalin has degenerative effect on the important functional part of the eye, such as cornea and retina and its activating dopaminergic mechanism via similar neuronal paths, functionally and structurally, to induce morphological changes. As a result, we believe that this morphological changes negatively effecting functional organization of the affected cornea and retina. © 2008 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.